Whether he is your date, boyfriend, or husband, there are just certain things a guy should never, ever say or do. Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins break it all down for us:
Have you ever asked yourself this question and wondered whether or not that thing your partner just said or did was okay? Many of us second-guess ourselves. We worry that we’re making a big deal out of nothing. We don’t want to start a fight or make things tense, but certain behaviors feel hurtful or seem like huge red flags.
It can be tough to know when to speak up and ask your partner to make a change, and when to just let it go. We all have bad or “off” days once in awhile, and you may just blow off how annoyed or offended you feel. Our advice to you is to stop ignoring your partner’s upsetting words and actions. Even if you look around at other people’s relationships and see the very same behaviors, this doesn’t mean you have to put up with it and suffer in silence.
That said, watch for these ten behaviors from your man:
1. He tells you you’re fat. Even if it’s disguised as a joke, if your partner criticizes your weight or certain parts of your body, you don’t have to grit your teeth and listen. Even if you could stand to lose a few pounds, that is your decision to make – not his.
2. He ignores you. If he consistently tunes you out, refuses to talk or is constantly distracted by the game, his phone or anything else, this could mean your relationship is in the danger zone. No matter how busy your partner is, you shouldn’t have to jump up and down trying to get his attention.
3. He says one thing and does another. When your partner nods and says “yes, dear” only to do the complete opposite of what he just agreed to, this is not okay. Watch for observable examples of whether or not his words match his actions.
4. He yells at you when drunk. We all lose our cool occasionally. If your man screams and yells at you when he’s drunk and then blames it on the booze, this is no excuse.
5. He forbids you from contact with friends or family. Nobody has the right to tell you whom you can talk to or spend time with and this includes your partner. If he has a jealousy problem, stay calm and set boundaries. If he’s truly concerned for your well-being, listen and consider his words but know that this is your choice to make
6. He sleeps around when drunk. “I was wasted; it meant nothing,” is not a valid excuse. Cheating is cheating and needs to be acknowledged and addressed.
7. He lies and breaks promises. Even “white lies” or “little” broken promises are bad for trust. Make sure that you’re creating an environment that promotes honesty and follow through, but do take lying seriously.
8. He puts you down. There’s a difference between a suggestion or helpful critique and a comment that is disrespectful and puts you down. Take a moment to really think about the words your partner said. Was he putting you down or were you hearing what he said through your own self-negative filter?
9. He is abusive. Whether it’s physical, sexual, verbal or emotional, abuse is never okay. It’s not healthy for you, and you don’t have to subject yourself to it any longer. Make your safety and well-being are your top priority.
10. He refuses to commit. This one is tricky. It’s always your partner’s choice whether or not he will commit to your relationship in the way you want him to. He’s not wrong for it. But if you are firm about wanting to be monogamous, to move in together, to get engaged or to get married and he refuses to make that kind of commitment, this is a problem and a sign that you two might not be a match.
As you decide whether or not something your partner says or does is okay with you, remember a few things: It doesn’t mean the situation is all his fault; it doesn’t mean you should threaten to break up with him (unless you’ll really do it); it doesn’t mean he “owes” you; and it doesn’t mean that you should punish him in some way.
When he does something that’s not okay, it means that it’s time for you to take a second look at how things are in your relationship. It’s likely that whatever is going on is not beneficial for you, and it’s probably not healthy for your relationship either. Decide what your next move will be. Will you create agreements with him to put changes in motion? Will you consider whether or not it’s wise for you to stay in the relationship at all? Will you make some internal changes that could significantly affect his behavior?
The choice is yours to make. Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect, kindness and love.
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